Prelude to Product for the People


Earlier this week I cast a line into the Twitter river asking if anybody would be interested in letting me visit their organisation and observe their Product Managers in action. Not for the first time my Twitter community proved to be a wonderful bunch of people and I got a load of amazing offers which I’ll be following up on soon.

As a bit of background the reason I am doing this is that I’m about to reach three years at the ONS and rather than give in to my usual wanderlust at this kind of length of service I am looking to challenge myself by staying and becoming a much better Product Manager and hopefully helping an organisation that is going through some exciting changes. The ONS gave me an amazing opportunity these last couple of years and I learned a load so it is time to share that.

The worry is that is a long time to be in one place with the (digital) world moving as fast as it does so I need to refresh my thinking, learn new approaches and just shake up my ways of working a bit rather than get complacent. There are only so many Medium articles you can read about the topic and I’d rather get out and about and see things first hand.

I don’t have any specific ‘learning objectives’. My ambition is to get around to as many other Product Managers as I can and just see what their day is like. What do they focus on? What is their relationship with their devs and leadership? How do they handle comms? Roadmaps? What do their walls look like! Just basically be nosey 🙂

I also have an idea of doing a short common little interview with everyone I visit — I’m a massive fan of the ‘How I work’ series on Lifehacker so maybe a more product management flavoured version of that?

I’ll blog everything as ever so hopefully other people might find it useful.

Not surprisingly at the moment it is all very civil service focused but I’d like to branch out as well — NHS, higher ed, start-ups, big internet companies, the media — wherever really. I find the topic endlessly fascinated and I’m determined to improve (just for the record though I’m not that bad now!)